"An immigration deal forged in the center" to "fix the system" and "drain the poison from our politics."


    "The Immigration Debate", Think Centered, Issue 1

     The New Center (William Galston, William Kristol),

     November 13, 2018



-The last comprehensive immigration reform bill in the USA was in 1965.


-19% of all international migrants now (2018) live in the USA (4% of world popul.).

-Immigrants are now (2018) about 15% of US population, matching prior 1910 peak.


-Immigration is a net economic plus to USA, but benefits+costs unevenly distributed.

-Half of US start-up businesses worth $1 billion or more were founded by immigrants.


-12% of legal immig. to USA is justified by employment (Canada 32%, Austral. 62%).


-Number of illegal immigrants in USA quadrupled 1990-2007, but has been flat since.

-Mexicans were 98% of illegal inflows in 2000, 53% in 2017 (42% central American).

-Half of unauthorized crossings are over a 320 mile stretch of Rio Grande river.

-About 40% of the c. 2000 mile southern border of the USA is now fenced.


Public opinion

-Large majorities support 'DACA', 'Dreamer', E-verify elements of recent proposals.

-About half support increased fencing on the US-Mexico border.


Proposed approach

"The only path forward is a sensible and comprehensive compromise in the center":


-Make legal immigration more merit-based.

-In addition to border fencing: electron. sensors & better entry portal infrastructure.

-Internal enforcement focused on E-verify and tougher curbs on visa overstays.

-"Registered provisional immigrant status" as citizenship path for the undocumented.

-DACA, green cards cards for dreamers.


For more information

"The problem with immigration in the US" (New Center, Nov. 2018)

"Immigration solutions in brief" (New Center, Nov. 2018)

Galson, W. "The issue that's poisoning democratic politics around the world" (Apr-18).


White House push for tougher immigration laws during 2018-19 lame duck Congress

Asymmetries in US immigration politics and policies

Attempts at U.S. immigration policy overhaul

Canadian Magazine of Immigration


US-Mexico border barriers

E-Verify; analysis of it



Centrist positions

Pew Center on immigration research

An Immigration Policy That Worked